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AN EPIC JOURNEY ON KENYA'S LEGENDARY `LUNATIC LINE'
FROM NAIROBI
TO MOMBASA

The debut run by the
newly restored ‘Mount
Gelai', Africa's most
powerful steam
locomotive'.

After twenty years in Nairobi's Railway Museum, the former East African Railways Beyer-Garratt No. 5918 ‘Mount Gelai' steams once more on the Mombasa run, following months of restoration in Kenya Railways' Nairobi workshops.

The Man in the Cab
The loco's former regular driver, Kirpal Singh Sandhu, takes charge again to recreate the line's glory days of the nineteen sixties and seventies, steaming past the wildlife of the African bush. Kirpal's perfect recall of every undulation along the 330 mile route enables him to `drive blind' through the night with total confidence.

Through the African Bush
TheAthi Plains, green sisal plantations, the famous Tsavo River and Voi's Taita Hills form just some of the classic backgrounds in this scenic journey, ending with the classic spiral descent into Mombasa. When the line was built, the construction gangs had to brave man-eating lions. Those pioneer days are captured in wonderful archive photographs - one of which shows a newly captured beast.

Raw Vintage Power
The articulated Class 59 was the largest and most powerful steam locomotive design in the whole of Africa, with a massive tractive effort exceeding 80,000 pounds. A flashback to the seventies brings us a 16mm film portrait of a ‘Governor' Class Garratt on the Taveta branch. There are also rare and exceptionally high quality archive photographs of early Baldwin locos from the USA.

Duration: 48 minutes

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